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Grateful DeadGrateful Dead Live at Madison Square Garden on 1991-09-18 (September 18, 1991)

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Collection: GratefulDead
Band/Artist: Grateful Dead
Date: September 18, 1991 (check for other copies)
Venue: Madison Square Garden
Location: New York, NY

Source: DSBD -> DAT -> CD -> EAC -> SHN
Keywords: Live concert


Description

Midnight Hour, Ramble On Rose, Wang Dang Doodle, Candyman, Memphis Blues, Row Jimmy, Jack Straw Victim Or The Crime-> Crazy Fingers-> Playin' In The Band-> Terrapin Station-> Jam-> Drums-> Jam-> The Wheel-> I Need A Miracle-> Wharf Rat, Sugar Magnolia, E: Brokedown Palace

Notes

DSBD -> DAT -> CD -> EAC -> SHN; via Adam Jerugim

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Reviews
Average Rating: 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars

Reviewer: theunseen - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - October 6, 2013
Subject: thought '91 was where the beginning of the end? listen up
Just got done giving this one a spin after kinda hating on the Hornsby years. For a while though, I've found that a lot of my favorite JGB shows all come out of this special summer '91. For those familiar with the more widely noted 1990 tour, this is a perfect introduction to the final, and in many ways most mature, incarnation of the GD.

I know what you're thinking, but just play this smoker (or any of the MSG run from this year really) and you're in for pure ear candy. The SBDs from the era sound fantastic, and while it's true that many nights Jerry was simply off in the final four years, his playing in NYC that entire week was liquid gold.

To wit: Set one is tight and energetic from the gate with a hot Midnight Hour. Ramble here is a solid version as well. Other first set highlights include a beautiful Candyman and a churning Row Jimmy. The Jack Straw from a few nights earlier has my vote, but this one closes the first set in proper fashion.

On to the second act. It's clear the boys came to stretch out and they hit hard with a Victim > Crazy > Playin > Terrapin combo that has not a single uninspired moment. Amazing jamming on the Playing and Jerry brings the tears as always on "his" Fingers. Drums > Space, eh. Then the anthems are brought out - WHEEL, MIRACLE. Jaws uniformly on the carpet. Wharf is the absolute highlight of the show for me, and one of my top 10 WharfRats ever. As another reviewer noted, Bruce takes this version straight to the stars... Sugar Mag brings it all home and they encore with an exceptional Palace complete with bayou accordion.

Seasoned musicians playing with total relaxation and giving complete focus to the experience being collectively created is what gives birth to the magick from these Madison shows in 91. To my ears, the Dead sound as energetic here as they have in some of their most musically transcendent moments. Add to that a maturity of playing that only comes with age, and you have an era of GD that I'm now discovering rewards those who listen outside the box.

Reviewer: Evan S. Hunt - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - November 12, 2007
Subject: Comfortable And At-Ease
On this particular night the band sounds as if they were fully-rested, particularly comfortable, and totally at ease in the presence of the faithful at MSG in NYC ~ the world's greatest Grateful Dead town.

Every song is well-played. They sound so relaxed. They sound like there was no pressure on them to play well. They sound like they're playing next to a pool in a suburban backyard: perfectly warm weather, things movin' on towards sundown with the lightest of all late summer breezes, close friends at hand, free-flowing beer and champagne on ice, and nice big Leg o'Lamb cooking in the rotisserie.

No pressure = band plays magnificently. They rock when they want to rock, and they kick back when they wanna kickback ~ and it all works! This is a magnificent concert with sound so pure you can hear a gnat shaving during the quiet moments. Don't be dissuaded by reviewers who poo-poo this show, or similar shows of the era.

The GD always felt very welcome in NYC and MSG was their venue where they set attendance records for gross and net receipts. New York City gov't was making so much money off of the Grateful Dead that they embraced the GD at that time and afforded them carte blanche for a few years. Beatings and public brawls declined 400 percent from 1989 to 1993. It was attributed to the positive influence of the Grateful Dead, and mostly their fans, that the crime rate went down in that area every time the boys showed up, and to top it off, all the merchants in the surrounding area liked the money these kids were spending in their shops, stores, hotels and restaurants. It was BOOM CITY fer crisesakes.

And speaking of booms. This show features another remarkable performance by Phil Lesh. His sound is captured immaculate' du jour. This is a very fine recording. The few audience patches in this recording are not a distraction whatsoever.

First set gems: Midnight Hour, Ramble, Candyman, Memphis, Row Jimmy, Jack.

Second set is 99.9 percent pure liquid platinum right down to an almost perfectly played Brokedown.

Don't let any Dead Heads, Old-timers or Newbies, convince you that these 1991 shows are not worthy. Perish the thought. This represents an era when the Dead were mature players who had toned their desire to fill every second with sound. Plus, the digital recordings are fabulous and the sound system was awesome. Put the two together and you have something that would be good enough to release commercially without too much more fussing with it in the studio.

The jams, drumz and space are all familiar sounding. In fact, I found myself humming and singing to the rhythms and the weird tones ~ that's how familiar I am with the drums and jams on all the concerts in 90 & 91. But that's not a bad thing. I find I have been listening more carefully to the drums and space segments and I believe it has helped to produce a rather profound improvement in my day to day outlook.

On the recording, at the forefront of Wheel, there is an outburst from a fan standing too close to a mike. That is the only defect I have been able to chronicle in this review.

And once they get to the Wharf, set yourself still a moment and just focus your attention on Bruce's chords during various transitions. These chords launch me into another world. Stunning.

Reviewer: jjjbaggins - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - November 17, 2005
Subject: I guess you had to be there.
The first set was good, but not so memorable, although things did pick up steam through "Memphis Blues" and peaked at "Jack Straw" as durkind says. My friends and I sneaked (not hard at MSG) onto the floor for set two, and what a love-in it was! Sleepy is not fair, and I would say introspective and spacey is more accurate. By the time we reached "Terrapin" I was lost somewhere that I'm not sure I've returned from since, but I do remember a girl with a bubble gun who kept me from losing it completely. *Listen to the jam out of "Terrapin"- I was right behind a partition that separated the front 1/3 from the rest of the floor, with an aisle built in, and I watched security helping a poor girl off the floor who was long gone. I looked up at the band and wanted to scream, "Stop, don't you see what you're doing to her mind!" It was too late though, for all of us, after that epic MSG run.

Reviewer: dmilks - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - July 14, 2005
Subject: 4 stars
to northvenice: that's Bruce that takes Weir's verse on Jack Straw, not Vinny. That was the normal routine for all the Jack Straw's when Bruce was a "member" of the dead.

Both sets are very well played. The Front stretch for set 2 is really strong considering the stock song choice of victim>crazy>playin>terrapin.

Reviewer: MindBender65 - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - May 6, 2005
Subject: arrrggg
Vince needs to shut the hell up!

Reviewer: Scott Moen - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - April 20, 2005
Subject: Great Jamming, and Rockin First Set
The first set really cooks all the way through. The second set is a little sleepy, but sometimes thats a good thing when they do a lot of jamming. This probibly has the most time alloted to jamming on the MSG run (besides 9/10) and the jams are pretty good. Great sound...

Reviewer: durkind - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - April 9, 2005
Subject: 9 shows in 12 nights!
Great sound on this SBD. Jack Straw is absolutely ripping.

Reviewer: durkind - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - April 9, 2005
Subject: 9 shows in 12 nights!
Great sound on this SBD. Jack Straw is absolutely ripping.

Reviewer: northvenice - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - July 17, 2004
Subject: v v nice
Great first set--midnight hr was v unexpected...the WINE aint sweeter...spirited Ramble! fine vince sound on wangdang..candyman sad....but HUGE ...got bless kreutzmannnnnnnnn... nice memphis too dammit--sounds like the first time he's sung it..and JStraw rocked v hard....despite vince taking bobby's verses.....